With our new series “An artist´s life.” we want to share the stories of the people behind the art.
“An artist´s life.”
The stories of the people behind the art
#9 Kamila Szalas
Since I can remember I thought of myself as someone strange. Someone who doesn’t fit anywhere. Now, that I am an adult I am strong enough to call it “unique” but during childhood …man, I felt like all the people were living together and me on the opposite.
I’ve always been writing. I was this kind of kid that wanted to read everything, every book that exists. I often heard “you’ll be a writer”. I kept starting new novels but after a few pages I already had a new, better idea to write about. This way I still have not finished any longer story. I believe someday I will, though.
I never wanted to end up living an ordinary life. Doing the same things as others, having a boring job, a husband, kids, and being just an ordinary woman with ordinary needs. It seems scary. And cultural roles and norms always seemed just so stupid that I didn´t want to participate in this what I considered a meaningless parody.
The first type of writing I really felt good at was writing columns for a school magazine. Building sentences, metaphors and jokes about useless trends like hipster subculture; it felt like some kind of therapy. Trivializing things I hated was like taming and working on negative feelings.
“I never wanted to end up living an ordinary life. Doing the same things as others, having a boring job, a husband, kids, and being just an ordinary woman with ordinary needs.”
Then it was the time for reportages that led me to my most important writing achievements so far. Writing about patients of a psychiatric hospital or Polish immigrants working in The Netherlands were my first appreciated works.
But my private, not published works were always inspired by my very private dramas. Isn’t it obvious? I hated society, and so I hated life. You get what you give. So, there was a lot of pain, and bad, bad seasons of crying after one or another love; loneliness that was the result of keeping the door closed for everyone.
For over one year I now have been studying Anthropology, the study of human behavior and societies. I study explanations why people do things they do even though these things are limiting them – like entering marriages or practicing religions, going to schools and then spending all days at work, trying to cheat the nature with medicine and technology, giving certain roles to women and different ones to men, explanations of why sex is such a taboo and sexual violence is so often called woman’s fault. Why the hell is the world such a disgusting place full of evil?
“I think the base for creating art, especially through writing, is what I personally call “overfeeling”. Feeling too much and too deeply: void, darkness, love or hurt.”
After 23 years of hating myself for my vulnerability I’m learning how to stop caring about other’s opinions but rather focus on my own stuff. Let myself grow out of aversion to life. I have already known for long that it is the exact reason my novels have never been finished. I stand on the ground with one leg above the ground; like I am not sure if it is real and if I want to stay.
I think the base for creating art, especially through writing, is what I personally call “overfeeling”. Feeling too much and too deeply: void, darkness, love or hurt. Observing is my main passive activity among people. Observing and imagining in my head what others feel and why; what happened before I saw them, what will happen next, how it is going to end like. Those stories I imagine are my own interpretations of what I see. I feel like every art is an artist’s personal interpretation based on his life experience. That is why after you give one sentence to ten people, everyone will write something different about it. That is also why the same model will be photographed in different ways by different photographers. It is not only the individual technique. Creating is giving form to what is inside of us.
Text by Kamila Szalas @hypearr
images by Maximilan Motel